What Is Bakuchiol? And Could It Be A Natural Alternative To Retinol?

We are always on the lookout for new innovations in skincare to share with our patients!

This month we’re loving bakuchiol, a plant-derived, natural alternative to retinol and vitamin A which is noticeably kinder to the skin with the same brilliant results. Bakuchiol is found mainly in the seeds of the Indian plant babchi but can also be found in other plant sources including cherry riceflower, father david elm and long pepper. When used in skincare, it is much gentler than retinoid products which makes it ideal for long-term usage.

A recent clinical study found bakuchiol cream to improve signs of facial aging just as well as retinol when comparing a 0.5% cream of each. The only big difference between the two is that bakuchiol needs to be applied twice a day. Bakuchiol is particularly useful for photoaging; which is when the skin thins, loses elasticity and develops wrinkles due to chronic sun exposure. Whilst retinol-based products are very popular in clinical and high street skincare due to their positive effects on signs of ageing, their side effects are well documented by practitioners and clients alike and can include peeling, stinging, burning and sensitivity. In fact, many retinol-based skincare products correctly warn against sun exposure for 24-48 hours after it’s use.

As an alternative topical treatment to retinoids without the harsh effects on the skin, bakuchiol has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant and anti-acne benefits. So, not only does it give your skin a much-needed thirst-quenching boost for those pesky fine lines, you’re soothing the skin, promoting PH balance and fighting against free radicals (particularly important for those of us who are city dwellers!).  Perhaps in the near future as, the skin on the face is so delicate, doctors will be encouraging a move away from some of the harsher retinoid-based treatments and instead encouraging patients to seek out bakuchiol-based products. If any of you have tried it we’d love to hear more about it!


Link library:

Clinical study for bakuchiol – https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/29947134

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